Posts Tagged ‘K-12 education’

Back to School Special

September 8, 2022

Paper company exec E. Bryant Crutchfield, inventor of the Trapper Keeper, has died at the the age of 85. His three-ringed gizmo, memorialized on a 2000 episode of South Park, was a feature of millions Gen-X grade-school backpacks and lockers in the 1980s. It was revived in 2021, but probably needs to add an iPad case.

More:

“E. Bryant Crutchfield, 85, Dies; Gave the World the Trapper Keeper,” Clay Risen, New York Times

“E. Bryant Crutchfield, creator of the Trapper Keeper, dies at 85,” Emily Langer, Washington Post

“The History of the Trapper Keeper,” Erin McCarthy, Mental Floss

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February: Virginia Celebrates White Fragility Month

February 1, 2022

February: Virginia Celebrates White Fragility Month

While the rest of the nation observes the Lunar New Year and Black History Month, the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrates White Fragility Month by urging parents to inform on educators who teach the actual history of the United States, which, of course, included centuries of Black enslavement, legally enforced racial segregation, and disinvestment.

Two weeks ago, as Republican Glenn Youngkin moved into the Virginia Governor’s Mansion, built by enslaved laborers in 1813, he signed a stack of executive orders, including the Orwellian “rat on teacher” edict. “Negative” books are being removed from Virginia school libraries. Maybe book bonfires will be part of the state’s 2022 high school pep rallies. Go team.

Like-minded update:

“Glenn Youngkin’s No-Guilt History of Virginia for Fragile White People,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

More:

“Where Things Stand: Trolls Flood Youngkin’s Teacher-Reporting Tip Line, As They Should,” Nicole Lafond, TalkingPointsMemo

“‘It’s Jim Crow, it’s not reform’: Concerns raised over Virginia governor’s new ‘divisive’ learning tip line,” Jim Dowding, WAVY-TV

“A GOP proposal targeting ‘negative’ U.S. history is cause for renewed alarm,” Greg Sargent, Washington Post

Updated:

“Youngkin Rescinds Racial Equity Resources For Schools,” Margaret Barthel, DCist

Related:

“Glenn Youngkin didn’t mind if some kids got an anti-racist education: His own,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

“From slavery to socialism, new legislation restricts what teachers can discuss,” Terry Gross, NPR

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Thanksgiving Filmstrip, 1977

November 25, 2021

“An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving,” a 1977 filmstrip adaptated from a short story by Louisa May Alcott. From the series “Classic Stories for American Holidays,” published by Spoken Arts, Inc. Innocent schoolchildren were subjected to these things. Soundtracks were on LPs (or later, audiocassettes), and the beeps were cues for the teacher to advance the projector to the next image. Video by Uncommon Ephemera.

Related:

“What Thanksgiving Means Today to the Native American Tribe That Fed the Pilgrims,”Olivia B. Waxman, Time

“No Thanks. How a National Holiday Became a Day of Mourning,” Emma Newcombe, Governing

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Spare the Rod

October 2, 2021

“Spare the Rod,”a 1954 Terrytoons theatrical cartoon featuring Mighty Mouse, directed by Connie Raskinski, with music by Philip A. Scheib.

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Back-to-School with the Delta Variant

September 9, 2021


It’s Back-to-School time in America, but this year that doesn’t just mean pencil cases, it aslo means cases of Pediatric COVID-19, 250,000 in the last week. Kids in low-vaccination states are getting infected at greater rates. Emergency Room visits and hospital admissions in the states with the lowest vaccination coverage were 3.4 and 3.7 times higher than in states with the highest vaccination rates. Children’s hospitals are at or near capacity and asking for federal assistance. For the most recent reporting period, infections among children account for 22.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases. That’s 204,000 infected kids in a week.

Even though most parents favor mask-wearing in schools, nine states prohibit school districts from setting mask requirements: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Over 1,000 schools have closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks since late July.

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Alabama Ends School Yoga Ban

May 26, 2021

Alabama Ends School Yoga Ban

“Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill to allow public schools to offer yoga, ending a ban that stood for nearly 30 years. Christian conservatives who back the ban said yoga would open the door for people to be converted to Hinduism.

The new law allows yoga to be offered as an elective for grades K-12. While it erases a ban that, over the years, some schools had not realized existed, it also imposes restrictions on how yoga should be taught. Students won’t be allowed to say, ‘Namaste,’ for instance. Meditation is not allowed.

‘Chanting, mantras, mudras, use of mandalas, induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, and namaste greetings shall be expressly prohibited,’ the bill states. It also requires English names be used for all poses and exercises. And before any students try a tree pose, they’ll need a parent’s permission slip.”

— “Alabama Will Now Allow Yoga In Its Public Schools (But Students Can’t Say ‘Namaste’),” Bill Chappell, NPR News

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Image (“Zoom Yoga, after a 19th century Joga Pradīpikā manuscript”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Alabama Doesn’t Decriminalize School Yoga

April 20, 2021
Alabama Doesn't Decriminalize School Yoga

Zoom Yoga Lesson

In 1993 the state of Alabama outlawed yoga classes in public schools, fearing the exercizes would turn young Christian children into Hindus. School regulations specifically prohibit use of the greeting “Namaste.” If only students had started class by saying “How-do, y’all ….”

State Rep. Jeremy Gray, who also teaches Yoga, recently introduced a bill to legalize K-12 Yoga, and the Alabama House of Representatives approved it last month. The bill went to Alabama’s upper house, but state senators upheld the ban.

More:

“Alabama fails to reverse ban on school yoga as conservatives say they fear rise in Hinduism,” Akshita Jain, The Independent

“Yoga can leave you injured, psychotic and a Hindu, Christian groups claim,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

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Image (“Zoom Yoga, after a 19th century Joga Pradīpikā manuscript”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

K-12 in 2020: Virtual Active-Shooter Drills

December 28, 2020

K-12 in 2020: Virtual Active-Shooter Drills

In the pandemic year of 2020, children’s homes became their classrooms as America’s K-12 education went online. The curriculum included school active-shooter drills, required by law in most states. Lesson objective: in America’s gun culture, even your kitchen table isn’t safe. Will this be on the test?

More:

“Active-Shooter Drills Look Pretty Weird Over Zoom,” Monica Chin, The Verge

“School Shooting Drills Have Gone Virtual,” Dan Kois, Slate

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Back-to-School Special: COVID-19

November 4, 2020

Back-to-School Special: COVID-19

Strained by managing on-line schooling and providing their own daytime childcare during this pandemic, many parents favor in-person schooling for their offspring. After all, the president says it’s safe, right?

The facts say otherwise. Last week, more than 61,000 American children caught the novel coronavirus, the highest weekly increase since the start of the pandemic. So far, 853,000 children in the U.S. have contracted the disease since the outbreak began, and a third of them needed ICU hospitalization. From February though July, at least 121 children have died. Long-term effects of COVID-19 infection in children are suspected.

More:

“More than 61,000 children got Covid-19 last week, a record,” Erika Edwards, NBC News

“Cases of Covid-19 in children on rise, with highest 1-week spike yet,” Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Related:

“I’m Scared to Death’: How Teachers Feel About COVID-19 School Safety,” Healthline

“Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness Among Teachers and Adults Living With School-Aged Children,” Adam W. Gaffney, MD, MPH, David Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, Annals of Internal Medicine

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Administration Back-to-School Special

October 6, 2020

Trump Administration Back-to-School Special
This summer, White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risk of sending children back to school. White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah L. Birx, and Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, and Paul Alexander, a senior adviser to HHS assistant secretary Michael Caputo, tried to get CDC scientists to downplay the danger of COVID-19 to children, teenagers, and young adults in a political effort to get schools to reopen.

More:

“Behind the White House Effort to Pressure the C.D.C. on School Openings,” Mark Mazzetti, Noah Weiland and Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times

“Trump official pressured CDC to change report on Covid and kids,” Dan Diamond, Politico

“We Can’t Allow the CDC to Be Tainted by Politics,” Richard E. Besser, Scientific American

Related:

“COVID-19 Cases Rising Among U.S. Children as Schools Reopen,” AP via Education Week

“‘Children have become acceptable carnage,’” Andrew Atterbury, Nicole Gaudiano, Mackenzie Mays, Juan Perez Jr., and Madina Touré, Politico

“Children’s role in spread of virus bigger than thought,” The Harvard Gazette

“10 facts about school reopenings in the Covid-19 pandemic,” Anna North, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.